SARASOTA, Fla. – A year ago, Xavier Avery was an unknown in the Orioles spring training clubhouse. This year, even after time in the major leagues, Avery is still almost an afterthought.
Avery is on the 40-man roster but has seemingly fallen behind Conor Jackson, Steve Pearce and perhaps Chris Dickerson for a spot on the team.
Last year, the 23-year-old played 32 games for the Orioles and batted .223. Avery has excellent speed and stole six bases.
He says the spring is going well for him.
“I don’t have no complaints. I’m playing, like every day, coming in in the sixth inning, probably getting one at-bat a game,” Avery said.
“Like last year, I was coming in to win a job. That’s the same mentality I’m coming in this year. Only this year, I had some playoff experience.”
Even though the odds are slim that Avery will start the season with Baltimore, he doesn’t think about that
“I always think my chances are good, but I don’t make those decisions,” Avery said.
“The competition is more intense with more outfielders here.”
His biggest lesson was just watching how his teammates worked at the game, especially Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Nate McLouth.
“I saw what to do and what not to do and how it affects you in a good way or a bad way,” Avery said.